Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Why Do Premeds Have to Take Calculus?

  1. Because calculus is not on the MCAT.* The physics on the MCAT is not calculus-based.

  2. Many med schools don't require applicants to have taken any math -- let alone calculus.

  3. So that they can take engineering calculus (instead of bio-calculus** or business caluculus) and then complain that the course is not relevent to their academic programs.

  4. To insist on good grades despite not having mastered the material, explaining that since they are pre-med they need the good grades but don't actually need to know calculus.***

  5. A few really bad grades in the freshman year can pretty much destroy their chances of admission into medical school, saving them from the prospect of a sophomore year filled with organic chemistry and its time-consuming labs.

  6. It humbles so many egos and teaches humility.

*Calculus is expected of applicants to pharmacy school.

**We have such a course. It is easier than engineering calculus. Unfortunately, many students make a bad choice to go with the harder course, forgetting that it isn't more impressive to take the harder course if you fail it.

***This line is not restricted to pre-meds. I've had many failing studetns explain that I should pass them anyway because they don't really need to know the material.